Citizen Created Commercials

Two interesting trends have accelerated the growth of "Citizen Created Commercials" (ads like those of FireFoxFlicks that are created not by Madisson Avenue but by folks like us). First, as brands migrate big television dollars to the web, there's simply not enough traditional paid placement opportunities (like banners nobody clicks). So marketers want something that provides and efficient impact. Second, in some industries we're starting to trust each other more than the ads and experts. In a recent study, some patient types are more prone to trusting the information they get on the Internet than their own doctors!

iMedia logo

With this in mind, it's worth scanning this iMarketing piece by nFusion's Mark Drosos. For highlights, click "more" on this post…


  • With the recent surge in user-generated media, consumers now participate in what the message looks like, as well as influencing who receives it.
  • In the not-so-old days, taking your message to your audience was simple: entertainment companies created entertaining content, advertising agencies helped market that content and users consumed it. But along comes user-generated media, a hybrid marketing tool that reverses the old, familiar method.
  • Savvy marketers are honing in on a few other avenues to create buzz and reach audiences. Creating partnerships with companies like iFilm, Revver and YouTube or with the multi-branded promotion like the one run by Zippo Hot Tours has started to emerge as an effective new way to reach the user-generated media target audience.
  • Seeding a campaign…is essentially an online PR campaign on steroids, and needs to be a part of every marketer's efforts. The simplest step is to create feeds of video content to VODcasting sites like iTunes, PodShow and Developing brand pages on social network sites like MySpace has become standard. Finally, your user-generated media campaign is all about, of course, users generating the content, so provide them with the tools (video, photos, add to MySpace links, etc.) to create their own brand pages. "Slither" and "Corpse Bride" both did good jobs of incorporating seeding into their marketing strategies through social networks and podcasting sites.
  • It is easy to focus narrowly on video-based user-generated media campaigns, but don't forget that user-generated media can encompass a range of other disciplines and forms such as creative writing, drawings and animation, photos or music.

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